July 20, 2015
The final phase of a multi-phase master site plan, the renovation of the Sales Building at Lasco Ford in Fenton, Michigan is the crowning jewel of the entire project. Even at the halfway mark, the results are impressive. The ‘bones’ of the structure, originally built in the 1960’s, were strengthened and reinforced with additional structural steel, a new roof, all new mechanical and electrical equipment, and new gas and water lines. Aesthetically, there were major changes as well. The entire Phase 1 of the Sales Building renovation encompassed what was previously the Service Department. Let’s check in with assistant project manager, Matt Vanden Toorn to get his take on the project.
Q: Matt, you came in towards the tail-end of this first phase of renovations. What was going on when you came onsite in early May?
A: When I came on board in early May, Pillen Construction was framing the interior walls. Additionally, Extreme Electric, DM Burr, and Goyette Mechanical were installing their respective in-wall utilities: electrical, HVAC and plumbing.
Q: In addition to making sure your lead project manager is stocked with coffee and donuts, what are some of the behind the scenes parts of your job?
A: My additional responsibilities include verifying details in the drawings, working with our contractors, tracking our daily tasks, and maintaining communication with the owner.
Q: What were some of the biggest challenges the team worked to overcome in the last 2 1/2 months to meet the turnover date for the Sales team to move in?
A: Our biggest challenge was keeping the schedule. It was inevitable that we would be met with issues that would potentially push our schedule back. Keeping our schedule required close coordination with our contractors and accurate scheduling.
Q: What knowledge from the first phase will you and the team carry forward to help with phase two?
A: There were some structural issues that Bren-Mar identified in Phase 1. We used the information we gathered and the lessons we learned during Phase 1 to avoid any issues with the structural steel in Phase 2.
Q: Overall, how have both Bren-Mar Construction and Lasco Ford worked to make the project to this point a success given the close proximity of work areas?
A: The most important aspect, in my opinion, is communication. Lasco Ford and Bren-Mar Construction have been in constant communication regarding the status of the project and the least intrusive way to maintain ongoing construction during the operating hours.
The newly renovated sales area is a far cry from service bays packed with vehicle lifts and tool boxes it previously housed, and both Bren-Mar Construction and Lasco Ford are thrilled with the progress to reach this half-way mark. We look forward to wrapping up the remainder of the project over the coming months. Stay tuned for a final update coming later this year. Check out the portfolio page for Lasco Ford here!